email a friend
printable version
Location Antarctica
Central coordinates 64o 8.62' West  65o 10.28' South
IBA criteria A4ii
Area 99 ha
Altitude 0 - 250m
Year of IBA assessment 2015

Site description Petermann Island is located in Penola Strait, in the Wilhelm Archipelago, ~2 km west of the Graham Coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. Petermann Island extends ~1.8 km from north to south and is about 1.2 km across, with an area of ~103 ha. The IBA includes all of Petermann Island and its surrounding coastal rocks.

Petermann Island has a rocky coastline interspersed by raised pebble beaches and rises fairly steeply to elevations of ~150–250 m. The island has volcanic origins, and about half is covered by a permanent and crevassed icecap. Mosses and lichens have been observed on the island. Antarctic Historic Site and Monument No. 27 on Megalestris Hill marks the position of a plaque erected by the French Antarctic Expedition in 1909. An abandoned Argentine refuge is located on the eastern side of the island.

The nearest scientific station is Vernadsky (Ukraine), a year-round facility located ~9 km to the southwest on Galindez Island. Vernadsky Station has capacity for ~24 people (COMNAP, Antarctic Facilities, accessed 19/08/2010).

Key Biodiversity Penguins breed on ice-free slopes and ridges around the island. An estimated 3020 pairs of Gentoo Penguin (Pygoscelis papua) were breeding on Petermann Island in December 2009 (H. Lynch, pers. comm., 2010). Around 458 Adélie penguin (P. adeliae) and 29 Imperial Shag (Phalacrocorax atriceps) chicks were counted in Janurary / February 2007 (Lynch et al. 2008). Wilson’s Storm-petrel (Oceanites oceanicus) and South Polar Skua (Catharacta maccormicki) are also confirmed breeders at the site (Naveen 2003). South Polar Skuas are typically found nesting on high ground in the northern part of the island.

Non-bird biodiversity: None known

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Gentoo Penguin Pygoscelis papua breeding  2013  3,300 breeding pairs  good  A4ii  Near Threatened 

Protection status None

References Antarctic Treaty System Visitor Site Guide, Petermann Island: URL Accessed: 10/05/2011.

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Petermann Island. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife